A deputy’s first-person perspective during a dangerous fentanyl exposure Thursday was captured on his body camera, along with a Narcan rescue by a fellow deputy that likely saved his life, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said.
FCSO Deputy Nick Huzior, who is now recovering, was wearing personal protective equipment while testing a powdery white substance found in a vehicle that had been pulled over for a traffic stop around 3:45 p.m.
Despite the protection, Huzior immediately began to feel lightheaded and asked Deputy First Class Kyle Gaddie, who was also working the traffic stop, to call for paramedics.
The entire encounter (press play below to watch) was captured on Huzior’s body cam, giving an unnerving personal perspective on the life-threatening incident.
Huzior told Gaddie that he felt extremely lightheaded, shaky and could not feel his arms or legs.
Knowing that the narcotics Huzior had been testing could contain fentanyl, Gaddie quickly gave him a precautionary dose of Narcan. When Huzior didn’t get better after several minutes, Gaddie gave him a second dose of Narcan.
Huzior was then taken by Flagler County Fire Rescue to AdventHealth Palm Coast and was treated in the ER and later released.
The narcotics that Huzior was testing later tested presumptive positive for fentanyl, deputies said.
“What happened yesterday is a perfect example of the dangers law enforcement face each and every day from poison on the streets,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Thankfully our deputies are well trained and equipped with Narcan which allowed DFC Gaddie to potentially save the life of a fellow deputy. I would also like to thank the good Samaritans who stopped to check on Deputy Huzior and Gaddie while they were waiting for EMS as well as Flagler County Fire Rescue and AdventHealth Palm Coast for taking care of him.”
According to FCSO, the incident began Thursday when several people called 911 to report a reckless driver who had fled a hit-and-run in the city of Bunnell and then continued to drive recklessly on State Road 11. The callers said the driver ran off the road several times and almost caused several more crashes.
Eventually, the driver stopped on his own at 15150 SR 11, and bystanders stood by with the driver until law enforcement arrived.
The driver, later identified as 61-year-old George Clemons of Crescent City, was found in the driver’s seat with the car keys under his leg, deputies said.
Deputies also saw narcotics, an empty Bud Light can and a mini “shooter” of alcohol in plain view inside the vehicle, according to FCSO.
Deputies said Clemons refused to conduct field sobriety exercises and was charged with DUI.
That’s when Huzior started filed testing the narcotics that were found in the car, according to FCSO.
Clemons was eventually charged with DUI, fentanyl possession, cocaine possession, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of a legend drug without a prescription, possession of suboxone and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Bunnell Police Department also charged Clemons with leaving the scene of a crash with property or vehicle damage in connection with the hit-and-run in their jurisdiction.
Clemons is being held at the Flagler County jail on $25,500 bond.